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Carlos de Jesús

World Champion, Personal Fitness Trainer, Medical Exercise Therapist

Total Fitness Concepts Studio

Certified Life Coach & Counselor


1985 Winner – Professional Natural Mr. World

1981 Winner Natural Mr. North America and Best Presentation

1981 Winner Natural Mr. USA and Best Poser

1980 Winner Mr. Old Dominion (Virginia State Champion)


1968 Junior National Power lifting Championships 198 lb class – Silver Medalist


1984 – 1985 Public Broadcasting Stations WCVU and WCVE, Host and script writer of the show

“Pumping Wood – Fitness Naturally”

1983 PM Magazine CBS, WXEX Feature “The Bodybuilding Couple”

1981 PM Magazine CBS, WXEX Feature “Natural Mr. USA”


Iron Man September 1984 Vol. 43 No. 6 ”Natural vs. Chemical” Editorial

Iron Man “What Is The Correct Diet?” Editorial

Muscle Up Sept 1985 “The Wooden Gym, Build Your Own Bench”

Muscle Up October 1985 “Build Your Own Thigh Extension/Thigh Curl Machine”

1983 Webster’s Ninth College Dictionary. Defined the “terms” Bodybuilder and Bodybuilding.

[See the letter from Merriam Company acknowledging the addition of terms]


The Inventor

The year is 1979. I am going to a local gym with my training partner and it’s clear to us that it’s just not working–the hours during the week, the weekend hours and closures on holidays. They just are not convenient for a competitive bodybuilder. I begin to think through the problem and decide that we need to have our own gym. My training partner was game, so I went to work planning a strategy. Wood would become the unlikely and most cost effective choice for the gym. I designed and together we built the Wooden Gym. With those nine pieces of equipment and 600 pounds of free weights I won every major bodybuilding championship of my day. I thought through and invented a way out of my challenging situation.

The Natural Bodybuilding Pioneer

Beginning competition in 1976, I was one of the few bodybuilders of my day that made the choice to train naturally. I made that choice long before I ever knew how dangerous the “sports drugs” were. I learned how to increase muscle mass without drugs. I also learned how to prepare for bodybuilding competitions without drugs. This meant I knew how to reduce body fat and water retention without jeopardizing my health or resorting to the “cutting drugs” of the day. I also trained others on my team I called the H.I.T. Squad to do the same. They were all successful in their endeavors. There was very little information in those days on how to train naturally. What I was doing became well known at that time and in 1988 Paul Jacobson, the chairman of the American Natural Bodybuilding Conference presented me with the Award Of Distinction bearing the inscription: “With Gratitude From The ANBC Acknowledging The Efforts Of A Pioneer Of Natural Bodybuilding” November 12, 1988”.  I still use the natural training methods I discovered 25 years ago today in my private practice.

The Competitive Bodybuilder

I started competing in 1976 and retired in 1985. I have seen no less than 36 stages and I didn’t win them all. I was competing in an era when steroids were common and only a handful of competitors chose not to use them. The reality was that they did provide a 15 to 20% edge over the non-user, so I placed in a lot of bodybuilding contests. For that reason it took me 3 years to win the Virginia State Championships, but I did win it in 1980. After that I never lost again in my own arena. For the 1981 Natural Mr. USA, the 1981 Natural Mr. North America, and the 1985 Professional Natural-For-Life World Bodybuilding Championships I was undefeated. With nothing else to win or prove I retired from competition but not from training.

The Philosopher

Dubbed the “Philosopher” by Tom Venuto I believe because of my natural concepts of training. I have developed an approach to training over a period of 45 years with concepts like:

“Focus on the process and the End Result will overtake you”

“Natural Intuitive Training”

“The Larger Engine Concept”

“The Experiment of One”

“Regret Prevention”

These are some of the concepts I impart to my patients, clients, and athletes that I train because I believe that exercise and Exercise Therapy is a thinking person’s activity which is why I have become involved in Thought Mentoring.

The Thought Mentor

How should we think when we don’t know what to do? Every guru I have ever asked doesn’t know the answer. And why would I ask someone else a question that only I can truly answer? How do we get “unstuck” when we get stuck? How do we remedy fears, apprehensions, uncertainties, and doubts?

It seems like as soon as we commit to a goal all kinds of distractions and opposition begin to show up vie for our attention and break our focus. Once we make a goal statement how do we stick with it to see it manifest?

Everything begins with a thought, and my mission as a Thought Mentor is to teach others how to think.

The Personal Trainer, NFPT Certified

In 1992 I got certified through the NFPT as a Personal Trainer, and even was a testing proctor for a time. Here is an ARTICLE they wrote about me when I celebrated 25 years with them.

The Exercise Therapist - (Beyond Physical Therapy)

I am certified as a Medical Exercise Therapist, and to my knowledge, I am the only one in Virginia.

Medical Exercise Therapy is the blending of the best from the rehabilitation world: knowledge of medical conditions, understanding of pathology, functional anatomy and physiology, orthopedic limitations, and metabolic conditions, combined with the best from the world of fitness training: aerobic conditioning, strength training, exercise progression and skill development. The resulting synergy means personalized therapeutic exercise prescriptions and programs for increased fitness and well-being for patients because the rest of the body is not overlooked while the treatment is being administered to one part. The whole body is trained. While the injured or compromised area is receiving therapeutic exercise, the other unaffected areas receive the regular model of strength and fitness so those areas are maintained or increased. This is my concept of Total Fitness so I called my business "Personal Fitness Concepts" because each person receives an individualized exercise 'script' to integrate an injured or compromised part into a whole exercise program.

Those who have been injured and are recovering from an injury will need a specific exercise prescription to recover. But the model that is used in Medical Exercise Therapy is not one that is limited to restoration of function.Because that would be to return to where you were, and as good as that may sound while one is in a debilitated state, it would still equate to returning to the place where one was when the injury took place to begin with. My model is to go Beyond Recovery. My aim is to get you stronger than you were, so that you can avoid re-injury and you can continue on your own with your exercise prescription and practice prevention.

Most personal trainer certifications only cover training healthy individuals, and must exclude anyone who has any known health condition. An Exercise Therapist serves the whole population, especially those with conditions with special needs such as those having a multitude of conditions such as: Arthritis, Cancer, Cardiac Disorders, Cystic Fibrosis, Diabetes I & II , Eating Disorders, the Elderly, Hypertension, different kinds of injury, Muscular Dystrophy, Obesity, Osteoporosis treatment and prevention, and Pregnancy. Medicine continues to discover the many benefits of exercise to all populations. Exercise has been known to delay or prevent secondary complications from chronic diseases, which translates into not only better health and sense of well-being, but also in cost-savings in future medical expenses. In the therapeutic model, this is the future!

Personal Fitness Concepts Studio - putting it all together!

My business, "Personal Fitness Concepts" studio, was designed in the early 1990s as an offshoot of another venture where experiments were held in partnership with chiropractic care. The project was a total success in showing that people who were strengthened through progressive resistance with weights and conditioning programs had dramatic results in their ability to hold their adjustments. Many found that the right on-going exercise program alone with as little as twice weekly sessions were all they needed to maintain their health function, conditioning and homeostasis!

As I worked with people I found myself doing a lot of life coaching so I got certified as a Life Coach. In working with my exercise clients I discovered that sometimes they needed counseling, so I got certified as a Counselor! I wanted to give my fitness clients the total package, meet all their needs under one roof.

I also refer some of my clients to my wife, Sue de Jesús who prefer to work with a female, as she is a gifted Soul Healer, Life Coach and Counselor. Her business is called Find Still Waters.

Although we may not always know what to call it, fitness conditioning differs from other forms of weight training in that there is a specific end result as the focus.

General strength training gives us overall strength, which is extremely important and useful in many areas of fitness.

Bodybuilding narrows its focus on the development of overall muscularity, symmetry or the development of muscles that is both proportionate and in balance side to side and upper to lower body, and the presentation which includes the ability to display the muscularity in a way that is advantageous to the athlete, as well as the proper grooming necessary to enhance the physique, which includes proper skin tone, color and highlights. Bodybuilding is judged by the appearance.

Weight Lifting places its primary attention on the amount of weight properly lifted as a demonstration of strength. And is judged by its own criteria- the total amount of weight lifted of the different lifts that are included in each sport. It would be safe to say that those who are involved in the above activities could have a measure of conditioning, but there are no guarantees.

Fitness Conditioning is the specific pursuit of strength, coordination, agility and skill to perform a specific activity. Fitness Conditioning is used to enhance our ability to perform better at sports and other skills. We know that a stronger, more flexible, more agile athlete is a better-equipped athlete.

Today I train clients of every age and condition. I work individually with each one prescribing an exercise program designed to tackle and overcome the personal goals they have. I have worked with clients who had sports injuries they needed to overcome to be fully functional; triathletes, cyclists, wrestlers, and gymnasts to overcome weaknesses of a body part to get them fully conditioned to return to participate fully in their chosen sport. I work with the elderly to keep them fully functional so they don't need help getting out of a chair or lose their confidence in walking. My oldest is almost 90 and has been with me for several decades! I work with weight loss clients and not only design their exercise program but I give them nutritional suggestions as well. For every client they receive the benefit of my combined knowledge of bodybuilding, diverse exercises for every muscle and angle whether in isolation or compounded, physical conditioning, strengthening, kinesiology, anatomy, and a champions mind-set and way of thinking. To learn more about how I think, visit HERE.


For anyone who wants to be trained by a World Champion who knows how to bring a body into the shape and function you desire, please contact me.HERE

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